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Labour court suspends swearing of new NLC commissioners as activist challenges listing process

Judge Stephen Radido (pictured) issued the temporary orders on Thursday in an application filed by activist Okiya Omtatah who claimed the selection panel constituted to recruit NLC commissioners was incompetent because it lacked membership of civil society with expertise in land matters/FILE – JUDICIARY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 3 – The Employment and Labour Relations Court has stopped the swearing in of appointees to the National Land Commission (NLC), lawyer Gershom Otachi who was formally appointed to chair the commission on Wednesday following parliamentary approval.

Judge Stephen Radido issued the temporary orders on Thursday in an application filed by activist Okiya Omtatah who claimed the selection panel constituted to recruit NLC commissioners was incompetent because it lacked membership of civil society with expertise in land matters

Omtatah also claimed the recruitment process was opaque and unaccountable.

He told the court the appointment of new commissioners by President Kenyatta was irregular and unlawful because strangers were appointed to positions, they were not shortlisted or interviewed for.

The activist was referring to Esther Murugi and Tiya Galglo whose names were included in the list of cleared candidates through an amendment on the floor of the House – the National Assembly.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has stopped the swearing in of appointees to the National Land Commission (NLC), lawyer Gershom Otachi (pictured) who was formally appointed to chair the commission on Wednesday following parliamentary approval/FILE – MOSES MUOKI

Others nominated to the NLC are Kazungu Kambi (former Minister), Professor James Tuitoek, Getrude Nduku Nguku, Reginald Okumu, Hubbie Hussein Al-Haji and Alister Murimi Mutugi.

The vetting process in parliament was shambolic, disgraceful and totally unacceptable, he said.

Omtatah was been directed to serve his suit papers on the appointees and return to court Monday for a hearing.

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